What You Need to Know About Bad Breath

Halitosis (bad breath) can negatively impact your personal life. It can also isolate and make you feel less than confident, and that’s assuming you’re even aware of the problem. Indicators that may suggest you have bad breath are:

  • Peers keep their distance and back up when you speak
  • Friends roll windows all the way down when you get into the car
  • Colleagues incessantly offer you mints and chewing gum
  • Your significant other holds their breath when you lean in for a smooch
  • Co-workers keep the doors open when it’s cold outside

Bad breath is a common condition and everyone gets it sometimes. Some causes include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Acid reflux
  • Respiratory infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Tobacco products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coffee
  • Prescription medications
  • Dry mouth
  • Tonsil stones
  • Liver or kidney disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer treatment
  • Something you ate

The good news is that malodorous breath can be diagnosed and treated. Here are a few tips for fighting the bad breath villain:

Brush and floss

700 kinds of bacteria party in the mouth. Keep your mouth clean with thorough brushing. Use a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and floss once a day.

Clean your tongue

Funky breath is a turnoff. Brush your tongue with your toothbrush after you brush your teeth or use a tongue scraper to remove odor-causing debris.

Drink water

Saliva helps clean your mouth. Keep producing saliva and hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Eat parsley

Fresh herbs such as mint, dill, cilantro and parsley temporarily diffuse offensive odors in the mouth.

Stop smoking

Tobacco products dry out the mouth and release harmful odor-causing chemicals into the oral cavity and lungs. The American Heart Association offers tips for dealing with urges.

If you haven’t eaten garlic or onions lately and still have ridiculous breath, it may be time to visit your dentist. The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults have professional cleanings regularly (2 to 4 times a year).